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June 11, 2009 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

Market News for This Saturday, June 13

Series Starts!
Before getting into the Farmers Market lowdown, let's get all ramped up about the free music tonight, Thursday, June 11 -- and the seven free concerts that follow over the next seven Thursdays, all part of the Lansdowne Summer Concert Series:

June 11: Siora -- World music and jazz
June 18: David Grier -- The most award-winning guitarist in recent memory
June 25: Familjan -- Folk music from Sweden
July 2: Eryn Shewell -- Soulful voice and songs
July 9: Charlotte Blake Alston -- Nationally known storyteller
July 16: David Jacobs Strain -- Blues phenom from Oregon
July 23: John Lionarons -- Nationally known hammered dulcimer player
July 30: Women in Docs -- Pop/folk from Australia

Our guess is that even if an act doesn't look like your bag at first glance (what's a hammered dulcimer?), take it in on a nice summer evening, reclined on a blanket, perhaps with a glass of wine in your hand -- for free -- and you'll enjoy it more than you ever imagined. Sponsored by the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation, the Summer Concert Series will take place on the lawn at St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, entered through the arch on Lansdowne Avenue, at 7:00 pm every Thursday. In case of rain, the event moves into the Regency Café, 29 N. Lansdowne Avenue. (If the weather is iffy, a location decision will be made by 5:00 pm, which you can find here.) If the concert is outdoors, bring low chairs, blankets, bug-be-gone, a picnic basket, gentle libations, and your family and friends. If it's in the Regency, limit it to your family and friends and the wine; they'll supply the food.

Earth Saturday Stats
It's hard to say which was the more popular activity at last week's Earth Saturday -- the perennial exchange or battery recycling. About 40 people participated in the exchange, relocating a few hundred plants around the borough, from barely poked-through-the-soil hyacinth beans to a yucca more than 6 feet tall that was pulled to its new home across town on a wheeled dolly by a pack of teenagers. Meanwhile, some 40 pounds of batteries were collected from folks clearly relieved to finally have a place to dispose of them. Those little energy cells showed up in buckets, milk jugs, shoeboxes, and even glass jars, which seemed a little dangerous but appeared to be working. Thanks to everyone who participated in any of our Earth Saturday activities, especially the plant exchange volunteers, PNC Bank, the Recreation and Parks Board, the Tree Advisory Council, the PA Resource Council, and Borough Council member Barbara Silzle (it was a highly "council-atory" day). Special thanks go to the Litterbug, who got kids to sign a promise never to litter in their whole lives; if they breach this contract, the slightly unnerving Litterbug (people, plush or not, it's a giant bug!) will visit them in their dreams (this clause was in the fine print). Check the Photos page of the LFM website for John Green's pictures of this fun day.

Bad News and Good News
There was a big hole at the Market last week where we planned to put Teens4 Good, but they never showed up. Unfortunately, they overestimated their resources and abilities when they signed on to participate in the Farmers Market for three Saturdays this season and have now let us know that they can't do it. We're disappointed by their withdrawal but understand that the Market is a big commitment. Sorry for the late change, and thanks for bearing with us through these schedule upsets.

On a happier front, paper maps in hand, Flint Hill Farms has confirmed that they'll make their first Market appearance this coming week, selling both cow and goat milk and products made from each, plus eggs. What's even better is that they're very excited to be joining us, so please stop over to meet booth attendant Rebecca, even if you're lactose intolerant.

Herb Gardener
Bonnie, of the eponymous Wondergardens, can't say enough good things about the Connecticut company that supplies her with the herbs she's been bringing to the Market. Well on their way to a century in business, Gibertie's Herb Gardens is family owned, and Bonnie says that you're likely to get Sal Gilbertie himself on the phone if you call there. They pride themselves on raising their plants with organic fertilization and without pesticides, which they say makes their herbs smell and taste better and which we believe. Bonnie carries standards like sweet basil, lemon verbena, parsley, and spearmint, as well as more exotic herbs, such as lemongrass, patchouli, pineapple sage, and purple ruffled basil (pretty enough for a flower bed!). She effused last week on the merits of having a fresh bay plant around until we gave up and bought one, and on comparing its glossy, fragrant leaves with the chipped-up, graying versions in our spice jar, we had to agree -- it was like comparing apples and . . . dried-out, beat-up, discolored apples. No contest. Pick a bay plant up to for a sunny spot in your herb bed, and then try overwintering it in a pot inside if you haven't denuded it by fall.

Soup's On
As long as it's not too terrifically hot out, John Wilson of Minicakes fame plans to keep serving his secret-recipe savory mushroom soup, which makes a great lunch with a ripped-off piece of the olive thyme loaf from the Regency Café's stand. Apparently it's also a highly serviceable breakfast, since it was sold out last week by about 11:00 am. He's going to supplement this week with a batch of chicken gumbo, which might go well with the sourdough baguette from Wildflour Bakery's booth. For dessert (sure, you can have dessert with lunch, just keep it healthful), how about some sweet cherries from Fruitwood Farms. Mike says this could be the week for them.

Lettuce Help
Every week so far Schober Orchards has brought nice firm heads of romaine lettuce, perhaps best known as the green stuff in Caesar salad. Because it's more tolerant of heat than most lettuces, we might be seeing romaine at the Market for a while yet to come, so let's figure out what to do with its somewhat bitter, sturdy leaves beyond your standard Caesar. Last fall, The New York Times Magazine ran (or reran; it originally appeared in 1948) a recipe for Green Goddess Dressing, which is a kissing cousin of Caesar but easier to make, doesn't require raw eggs, and also takes advantage of two other Market-type goods -- chives and parsley. If you like anchovies, this salad is for you. Something else that sets romaine apart from many more tender lettuces is that it takes to flame heat with excellent results. The dressing used in this recipe is super easy and super tasty, and the romaine only takes a minute or two on the grill after you've removed your main course, whether it's the chicken in that recipe or something else. Finally, if the man in your house tolerates salad only if its first name is Caesar, try this grilled Caesar salad next weekend, since it's not Father's Day if you don't go through a whole bag of charcoal.

(This has nothing to do with lettuce, but yesterday's Times had what looks to be a keeper recipe for using rhubarb. Make it Market-centric by swapping in strawberries for the raspberries.)

Short Stuff
Get your application for the season's first Community Day (June 27) here or at the Market Manager booth. Applications are due June 20, but the sooner the better.

Has anyone else been noticing a red-eyed white rabbit who's wearing a black cape around town? Maybe bedecked with a sign that says "Bunnicula"? That critter seems highly mobile, here one day and there the next. We're not sure what the whole story is with this bunny, but maybe we should keep an eye out for it. Come by the Market Manager booth this Saturday and tell us where you've seen it this week, and we'll give you a Market Buck.

Hey, someone other than CH rent the Market blackboard already! It costs only $20, and it's dynamite advertising space. Who do you know that has a birthday or anniversary coming up who'd be both delighted and chagrined to have it announced at the Market? Think on that and then act on it.

You Dirty Dog
The only fun thing about washing your dog is having someone else do it. And taking pictures of it all. Make your pooch's bath doubly enjoyable (for you) by grabbing your camera and heading to the Doggie Day Spa sponsored by Animal Friends of Lansdowne this Saturday, June 13 (rain date June 14), from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at 225 Wayne Avenue in Lansdowne. For a kindly donation, they'll wash, groom, and generally spruce up your stinky pet while you stay clean and dry. They'll also gladly take donations of pet food if you have any to spare. This would also be a good time to take them some recipes for the cookbook they're putting together.

Spotlight on Marlyn Park
We missed last year's tour of Marlyn Park because it was the same time as the Farmers Market. This year, however, the Recreation and Park Board has thoughtfully scheduled it for the afternoon instead, so you won't have to worry about the strawberry supply if you go. At 1:30 pm this coming Saturday, June 13, everyone is welcome to take a free tour of Marlyn Park, at Willowbrook and Stratford Avenues, under the knowledgeable guidance of Lansdowne's Bob Bartmann, the gentleman who put together those swell boards about the borough's parks for Earth Saturday. Bob is just full of information about Marlyn and will be covering its history, biotic features (that's plant life to you and me), geological features, environmental challenges, and future, as well as sharing the legend of White Rock Spring. There's no quiz afterward, but you can get a Market Buck next week, June 20, if you come by the Market Manager booth and tell us the name of the stream that runs through Marlyn Park. We'll tell you now, it's not Darby Creek. (Rain date for the tour is Sunday, June 14, same time.)

Healthy Eating for Kids
School is this close to being over, and if one of your resolutions for the summer was to get your kids to eat better, help is on the way. This Sunday, June 14, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, Holistic Health Counselor Alexandra DiFilippo will be the guest of Life More Abundant, 25 N. Lansdowne Avenue, leading a free workshop to help you help your young ones make smarter choices about food. The right foods will improve their energy levels and moods, and that's good for the whole family. To save yourself a seat, contact Carl now: or 610-259-0101.

Featured This Week

Artist of the Week: Artists come 2 for 1 this week. If you're a woman and don't own some Type O(-) jewelry, what do you wear every day? Grace Caputo's silver, pearl, gemstone, and leather pieces try hard to "work for everybody" and to be go-to favorites that you'll wear again and again. Her mother, Norma Bartram, makes pickles and relish and candies that don't even have to try anymore -- they are favorites. Her pressed biotic (!) cards, windows, and framings are also quite pretty though not edible.

Musician of the Week: The host of Philly Rising, World Café Live's popular Monday night open mic event, Boy Wonder gives a list of influences on his MySpace page that's a mile long, starting with the Police, concluding with Jay Z, and touching on the Beatles, the Ramones, and Liz Phair on the way. Expect funky, groovy pop, perhaps with some attitude.

Blog: Interview with artist Grace Caputo; squealing on litterers; bugging the mayor; gossip.

Check out what’s coming in the weeks ahead, music- and art-wise, by visiting our continually updated on-line schedule.


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
June 11 to 18, various times; $5 to $7.50
The Red Balloon and The White Mane, The Longest Day, Gran Torino, The Seventh Seal
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne

Minas Sextet plus Brazilian Dancers at the Zoobilee 2009 fundraiser
Thursday, June 11, 7:30 to 10:30 pm
$125 to $350
Philadelphia Zoo, 34th Street and Girard Avenue, Philadelphia

Inner Artist Workshop with Helene von Rosenstiel in the Cinema 16:9 lobby
Session includes meditation, holographic re-patterning, journaling, sketching, and discussion
Saturday, June 13, 9:00 to 11:00 am
$20 per session; reservations suggested
33 N. Lansdowne Avenue; 610-622-1960

Harmonious Wail Workshop and Master Class
Saturday, June 13, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
$40 per person
For reservations and directions, 610-626-0012 or

Stevie Coyle at Concerts at the Beach House
Sunday, June 14, 7:00 pm; $15 per person
For reservations and directions, 610-626-0012 or

6-Week Summer Drum Workshop at the Twentieth Century Club
Two age groups: 6 to 9 years, 10 to 14 years; preregistration required
Mondays and Wednesdays starting July 6
$10 resident, $15 nonresident
84 South Lansdowne Avenue; 610-284-1493

Click for a complete listing of upcoming local events.

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The Lansdowne Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the parking lot next to 28 North Lansdowne Avenue, rain or shine.

Visit our sister market, the Oakmont Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoons in Havertown for more local produce, bread, meat, and other products.